Poetry. Drawing episodes from the Kalevala, a Finnish epic, Peter O'Leary has created a poem of atmospheric intensity, full of elemental forces harnessed by supernatural craft. Line by line, it is composed of images and epithets that flicker into animation, condensed phrases that cascade into sequences of unfolding action. Throughout the quest, THE SAMPO returns us to the hazards of making, the power of singing, and the adventure of poetry.
interview @ Stray Horn with Stephen Manuel
Peter O'Leary is the author of five poetry books from The Cultural Society-THE HIDDEN EYES OF THINGS (2022), EARTH IS BEST (2019), THE SAMPO (2016), PHOSPHORESCENCE OF THOUGHT (2013), and LUMINOUS EPINOIA (2010)-as well as two books of literary criticism, including Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age. He was born in 1968 in Detroit, where he was educated by the LaSallean Christian Brothers. He studied literature and religion at the University of Chicago. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois, and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the University of Chicago. With John Tipton, he edits Verge Books.